Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Software Engineer with an offering submitted for your approval!
Old 03-28-2017, 06:56 PM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Fort Mill
Posts: 22
Software Engineer with an offering submitted for your approval!

Hello all, occasional forum peruser and new member here.

I'm a software engineer by trade and have been working on building my own retirement simulator. I was frustrated by the inflexibility and limitations of the available free tools I could find, so clearly it made sense to build my own totally from scratch rather than shell out for a paid one. So enter the Retireator. This started off as my personal financial planner, and evolved into a sophisticated, full-featured platform. I decided to release it as free software GPL'd under GNU Affero v3.0. Development is hosted as a public open source project on GitHub. So I've been working on it in my spare time for about two years and launched a basic website for it in September of last year complete with downloads and documentation. Version 2017.0327 was released yesterday.

I have looked at the FIRECalc site which is popular on this forum. It is quite sophisticated, but focuses in different areas from my tool. I'd say my tool does a better job at modelling a portfolio drawdown and performing incremental "what if" analyses. In addition, the tool is built entirely in Excel!

I look forward to any feedback from the community and plan to keep the tool completely free moving forward and hope there will be some interest in it.

Have a look!

Retireator.org Retireate Away!

Larry
__________________

Retireatee1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-30-2017, 06:13 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 9,306
Looks very interesting. I'm waiting for the board quants to report back on their findings before I play with this.

Edit: And thanks for the GNU approach.
__________________

__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 06:53 AM   #3
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,025
I've only played with it a very small bit. Some thoughts:

I like the open source model, but wonder why you tied it into a paid/proprietary program like Microsoft Excel. (And windows).

People might be nervous enabling macros from something downloaded from the internet. (Disclaimer I saw no bad effects do it appears to be safe)

When I entered passive income it jumped me to a different sheet - no explanations, and no jump back to the first sheet.

I am not sure, because I didn't have much time to play with it... But I think it didn't handle past dates well. Pensions that start in the past, retirement date in the past,. SS started in the past.... (But I didn't have time to verify this). Fwiw, firecalc also has issues with this.

I hope to sit down later today and continue to check it out. It seems like it had a lot of flexibility to adjust returns, inflation etc.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 08:00 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 21,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I've only played with it a very small bit. Some thoughts:

I like the open source model, but wonder why you tied it into a paid/proprietary program like Microsoft Excel. (And windows).

People might be nervous enabling macros from something downloaded from the internet. (Disclaimer I saw no bad effects do it appears to be safe)
....
Sounds interesting, but I'm with rodi - I don't have (and won't get) proprietary Excel, I use LibreOffice. I doubt that the macros will work across platforms.

Could you set it up to run on the site, so users don't need to download anything?

edit - looked through the Features - now for this feature, I will buy Excel and boot into Windows :

Quote:
Features

Economy

Wage inflation
Consumer price inflation
Stocks and bonds
Past and future market conditions
-ERD50
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 10:12 AM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 436
Another vote for LibreOffice compatibility. I fired Bill Gates years ago and never regretted it for a moment.
zedd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 11:29 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 6,270
Off topic... cleaning out bookshelves.. just sent a Lotus 1-2-3 book and a couple Access programmer books to re-cycling.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 03:56 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
dixonge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,023
I'm betting the target audience will have Excel access.

Do the macros work in the free online version of Excel?
__________________
--
--

Life's too short to spend Time here...
dixonge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 03:57 PM   #8
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Fort Mill
Posts: 22
I'm all in favor of LibreOffice compatibility if anybody want to create a fork of my GitHub project and volunteer to take a crack at it.

Thanks for the comments rodi. All income data entry is done on the "Income" tab. But the present year income values are visible on the "Main" tab as well as a link to redirect you to the relevant data entry cell. It has caused a bit of confusion with others as well, but that's all that's going on there.

Past dates for retirement and/or Social Security are no problem, in fact it uses the historical COLA tables to increment the payment for each previous year.

If you have advanced mode enabled (which I recommend), you'll see the defined benefit pension settings. You cannot have a employer defined benefit pension which started in the past. This is true. However, based on the payout option, DB pensions will either roll into your core account as a pre-tax lump sum (which you can manually add to your balance), or will roll into your annuity balance and then pay out with the annuity. So you can approximate the actuarial present value of your pension as well as the annuity parameters and it can be modeled that way.

There is a single aggregate annuity modeled for the household, which is for performance reasons. It is based on actuarial life tables, and takes 48,0000 cells to calculate believe it or not.
Retireatee1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 04:04 PM   #9
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Fort Mill
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
I'm betting the target audience will have Excel access.

Do the macros work in the free online version of Excel?
No macros in Excel Online. There is a Setup process which must be completed in the Retireator which uses VBA forms. Once that is done and the worksheet is saved to a SharePoint/OneDrive location, you can then have limited functionality using Excel Online including making changes to any non-Setup simulation parameters and recalculating the simulation.

The entire simulation is written using Excel formulas only. VBA is only needed for Setup, importing, and some other higher-level functions. I save my personal Retireator plans to OneDrive each month and like to refer back to the archived documents online quickly without having to run the full version of Excel. But you really need the full version to use the tool.
Retireatee1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 04:05 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
dixonge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,023
I have all that. Will kick the tires soon...
__________________
--
--

Life's too short to spend Time here...
dixonge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 04:58 PM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
wmc1000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Fishers
Posts: 706
Excellent job Retireatee1. The only thing I would like to see would be a way to plug in the projected SS cut if there is no change in the current laws.

I do that in my personal excel spreadsheets so I can project how much of an impact it would be and that it doesn't blow any holes in our long term FI stability.
wmc1000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 05:05 PM   #12
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Fort Mill
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmc1000 View Post
Excellent job Retireatee1. The only thing I would like to see would be a way to plug in the projected SS cut if there is no change in the current laws.
Thanks, yes that idea did occur to me. I was thinking along the lines of just a simple reduction factor that you could enter, or perhaps a drop-down box of profiles.
Retireatee1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 05:22 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
wmc1000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Fishers
Posts: 706
When I use Firecalc I input a recurring expense that is Cola'd starting the year I think the cut would happen.
wmc1000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 07:00 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 21,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
I'm betting the target audience will have Excel access. ...
Well, we have a bunch of retirees w/o access to a work computer with Excel anymore. And a bunch of frugal LBYM-ers who find that LibreOffice fits their needs just fine, so why pay for Excel? And a few that just really don't like MicroSoft.

I'm all three

But the program sounds interesting and promising, I'll have to live vicariously through these reports for the time being.

-ERD50
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 07:24 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,964
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retireatee1 View Post
I'm all in favor of LibreOffice compatibility if anybody want to create a fork of my GitHub project and volunteer to take a crack at it.
Thank you. I will take a look this weekend.

Have you been over at Bogleheads land with this? Many Excel owners there.

It's very generous of you to create something and allow others to access and modify it for their use.
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 04:55 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,964
I went ahead and downloaded a day early. This is something I looked for a few years ago, after seeing similar at an FA's office. I was able to pry a paper copy of the report, and then modeled something in my own workbook. I was playing the layoff game with employer, and needed to quickly see possibilities for drawing down.

From what I've seen so far, your spreadsheet work is a superior effort. It is complicated, for me. So it will take some time to find additional data to add to this.

One criticism is that the autoload macro just leaves you, without warning. It could say something to user, and maybe suggest a few things to complete next. I did read your help online. I obviously need more time with this, and hope to play around some more in the future.
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 06:32 AM   #17
Full time employment: Posting here.
wmc1000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Fishers
Posts: 706
Retireatee1 - Question on the expenses worksheet. It would appear that line items for principal payment and interest payments are possibly reversed? The Amortizer aorksheet looks to be fine however.

Additionally, it appears expenses and SS increases are in lock step with each other when, in reality, SS increases tend to be slightly less than the overall inflation rate of expenses. I model SS increases as a lesser percentage of expenses growth which gives a more conservative outlook.
wmc1000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 07:09 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 9,306
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Well, we have a bunch of retirees w/o access to a work computer with Excel anymore. And a bunch of frugal LBYM-ers who find that LibreOffice fits their needs just fine, so why pay for Excel? And a few that just really don't like MicroSoft.

I'm all three

But the program sounds interesting and promising, I'll have to live vicariously through these reports for the time being.

-ERD50
Same here. I had an old copy of Excel but tossed the CD when I ditched my previous PC. Figured Libre Office and Google Sheets met my needs. Maybe I will dig out my old laptop and see if it has Excel.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 07:40 AM   #19
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 28
Would love to play with it but my 2003 Excel can't open it.

Google Sheets don't seem to handle the program, either... so no luck for me.
aza455 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 04:08 PM   #20
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Fort Mill
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
Have you been over at Bogleheads land with this? Many Excel owners there.
I've visited over there but have only launched it here and at the MrExcel forums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
One criticism is that the autoload macro just leaves you, without warning. It could say something to user, and maybe suggest a few things to complete next. I did read your help online. I obviously need more time with this, and hope to play around some more in the future.
Yes once you leave the setup wizard you are basically dumped off in the spreadsheet. I've thought about building another setup wizard step which helps here. But I want the essence of the Retireator to be a spreadsheet, and not a huge VBA app with a spreadsheet behind it and a doubled interface. So when you are in the spreadsheet it's an Easter Egg hunt to find all the green and yellow boxes and fill them in. Thanks for the feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmc1000 View Post
Retireatee1 - Question on the expenses worksheet. It would appear that line items for principal payment and interest payments are possibly reversed? The Amortizer aorksheet looks to be fine however.

Additionally, it appears expenses and SS increases are in lock step with each other when, in reality, SS increases tend to be slightly less than the overall inflation rate of expenses. I model SS increases as a lesser percentage of expenses growth which gives a more conservative outlook.
Wow, I can't believe I missed the principal/interest flip. But those are just there as a convenient mortgage calculator and are not employed by the simulation. I'll fix it, thanks!

Both SS COLA and expenses and passive income inflate at the "CP Inflation" rate (refer to the "Economy" tab). Employer income and Self-Employment income and tax brackets inflate at the "Wage Inflation" rate. I could see the value in adding a modifier for expense inflation, I'll think about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aza455 View Post
Would love to play with it but my 2003 Excel can't open it.
No joy with 2003, but I have tested recently with Excel 2007 which is OK.
__________________

Retireatee1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Husband Submitted Paperwork Dog FIRE and Money 2 03-13-2016 04:49 AM
Just submitted my TIRA to Roth conversion sirion FIRE and Money 4 12-09-2009 06:36 PM
Age 47, software engineer, ready to early semi-retire, but one big variable... headingout Hi, I am... 30 03-09-2008 10:29 AM
I just submitted the biggest proposal of my life, and I'm nervous!! thefed Other topics 7 09-23-2007 05:56 PM
Software Engineer ranked #1 as Best Job in America........ Cut-Throat Other topics 27 04-13-2006 09:45 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:48 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.